Have you ever broken a toe?
I broke one recently, letting rip with every expletive in the book! Broken toes HURT and there’s nothing to do but tape it up and get on with life as best you can (albeit at a slower pace). But you don’t need a broken toe to remind you how important a sturdy foundation is. Your feet carry you around tirelessly but, aside from the occasional lick of paint, we don’t give them the attention they deserve.
Why are healthy feet and ankles important?
Your feet provide stability but, with 26 bones and 32 joints, they are also capable of extraordinary mobility and dexterity. With every movement, the bones, joints, muscles and connective tissues make tiny adaptations to:
- propel you forward, back, to the side, up and down
- maintain balance on uneven terrain (or while standing on one leg)
- re-distribute your body weight
- absorb impact, lessening the force experienced in the joints of the knees, hips and spine.
Any imbalance or immobility in the feet tends to exhibit itself further up the body so, if you experience aches and pains in your knees, hips, spine or shoulders, keep reading to find out how yoga can improve the health and mobility of your feet and ankles.
Yoga for Feet and Ankles
This short yoga practice is just what you need at the end of a long day; if you’ve got swollen ankles, sore feet or plantar fasciitis, your feet will rejoice! Kick off your heels and give your feet and ankles some love.
Please work within your range of motion, being mindful of any current injuries or limitations. If you feel pain, tingling, numbness or sharp sensation, back off or move onto the next pose and if you experience. You’ll need 2 yoga blocks (or just grab a rolled up towel).
Working on your feet consistently will have a noticeable impact so do a little each day.
Here are some simple things to get you started:
- Incorporate the stretches from Yoga for Your Feet into your daily life.
- Invest in a set of gel toe spacers, like Yoga Body’s Awesome Toes.
- Go barefoot as often as possible
- Keep a tennis ball or massage ball handy to release tension in your feet while working, watching TV or travelling. Using firm pressure, roll the ball along the sole of your foot; roll the ball in all directions to effectively cover all parts of the foot, including your heel, toes and arch. Spend a little longer on areas of tension. Roll for a couple of minutes on each side.
The benefits of looking after your feet aren’t solely physical (sorry… not sorry). With a sturdy foundation, you’ll be able to navigate changes and challenges with grace and ease. Ahhh…don’t we all want that? If you feel stuck in any area of your life, we’ve got five ways to ignite your first chakra.